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Catonsville

Rails to Trails to dedicate newest section of Catonsville's Short Line Trail

Catonsville Rails to Trails is set to host a dedication ceremony marking the completion of the Spring Grove section of the Short Line Trail on Memorial Day.

The day starts with a bike ride along the trail and through Paradise, at 8:30 a.m., before a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. and a hike along the trail at 10:45 a.m. All the events are happening at the trail's Wade Avenue entrance, at Hickory and Locust streets.

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The 1,600-foot path, along with a restoration of 500 feet of railroad track, was completed last year. The $92,000 project was funded mostly with private money, aside from a $30,000 Maryland State Highway Administration grant and a $2,000 Baltimore County grant, said Sheldon Smith, the group's vice president and project manager.

A bench along the trail will be dedicated to Julie Rout, a Catonsville cyclist who died last year of ovarian cancer.

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The Short Line was originally built in 1884 and carried passengers and products such as lumber, coal and mail, from Baltimore to the Catonsville area, Smith said. Passenger service stopped in 1898, and the last load of freight was carried in 1972.

A replica antique hand cart will be on site during the ribbon cutting to demonstrate how the track functioned.

The completion of the Spring Grove section of the Short Line Trail leaves one final portion for Catonsville Rails to Trails to tackle — the 500-foot Bloomsbury Crossing ramp.

The ramp will connect the existing Short Line Trail to Bloomsbury Avenue. From there, people will be able to cross the street and get to Asylum Lane to continue. Sweeney Smith said she anticipates the project, estimated to cost between $400,000 and $500,000, will be complete in the next two to four years.

When finished, the 2.2-mile trail will connect Maiden Choice Lane to Mellor Avenue.




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